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Discussion in 'Home Entertainment Computers' started by Theydon Bois, Mar 3, 2008.

Home Cinema Showcases

Theydon Bois' HTPC

Home Cinema Showcases item created by Theydon Bois, Sep 21, 2013

  1. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    ------------------------------------------Index-----------------------------------------


    ------------------------------------------2008-----------------------------------------​

    Details of original specs for my HTPC build and my PC upgrade, with lots of pics - my current setup, the bits arriving, and the build. Further pages detail more software testing, details of my PC upgrade and some Monochrome Skin shots and MAME testing. The TV Series plugin, Windows Repair info, Monochrome 1.7 and Fan Art tinkering, PowerDVD reskin info, Full Guide to setting up TV Logos, and loads more constant tinkering and updating of software.


    ------------------------------------------2009-----------------------------------------​


    This year saw the change to StreamedMP from Monochrome [Posts 575 and 576], as Moving Pictures was such a good looking plugin that it needed to be added, and the black that once appealed sadly started to become bland. How fickle I am!

    Mediaportal also came out of Beta with its RC1 release, and PowerDVD dropped HD-DVD support. I review the Zalman case I have been using for the last year, and StreamedMP moved from early to late beta. I upgraded my GPU to a passive 4670 from the 36xx [Post 693] and I upgrade my PC a bit. I dropped PowerDVD as TMT3 offered HD-DVD support [Summary Post 730]


    ------------------------------------------2010-----------------------------------------​


    Mainly just software updates to MP, Streamed, ATI Drivers, iMon Software and AnyDVDHD. I also upgrade my PC again [Post 758]


    ------------------------------------------2011-----------------------------------------​


    Proper upgrades as I run out of room and whack in some larger drivers, removing the smaller ones and consolidating.


    ------------------------------------------2012-----------------------------------------​


    Nothing actually posted, but in this time I upgraded drives, adding an SSD, as well as replacing the Tagan PSU for a Modular Coolermaster M600 that I removed from my PC. Software updates as they appeared, mostly AnyDVDHD and testing ATI drivers. I upgraded to TMT5 as well, as I had real problems playing my Star Wars Bluray boxset, and soon I had it all ok then.


    ------------------------------------------2013-----------------------------------------​


    My Silver box is silver no more, but still going strong! Who would have thought that the same spec box would have lasted this long. Yes I know I could remove the CPU/Mobo/GPU combination and replace it with a £130 micro ATX FM2 solution and that day will come, but it is not needed yet. A new case is bought [Post 800] and I stuff all the bits in and upgrade another drive from 750Gb to 3Tb.





    ------------------------------------------Showcase-----------------------------------------​


    Thanks for even trying to read a thread that has (as of Sept 09) many many pages in it now, but to be honest, it would be really confusing for someone who has seen my sig for instance, and says - "..you know, I like the Zalman case, I will see what Theydon did with his..."

    So to try and keep things nice and neat, I created a Showcase that has my current configuration, the final build (seeing as how I did not even manage to work out what I wanted until Post 15 or so) and then my configuration steps should you choose to try Media Portal as your Media Front end software.

    If you really are that bored at work though, have run out of the rest of the intermaweb to read and fancy digesting my whimsical notes - then who am I to argue, simply read on and thanks for taking the time to look. :smashin:




    ------------------------------------------Last Words-----------------------------------------​

    Massive Thanks to the following: tinners, Mickwall, Woozy, SilverSerpent (Samsung M86 settings), and everyone else I have thanked and scanned info from their HTPC stories. Ta!
    • Thanks Thanks x 16
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  2. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    ---------------------------------------Original Post--------------------------------------
    ------------------------------------------Dated 3rd March 2008-----------------------------------------​



    I have been researching my HTPC build for a long time now, and I am using the excuse of getting parts to upgrade my Gaming PC, and re-using existing parts in the new HTPC.

    My PC Upgrade

    I have a P5B-Deluxe, a very respected board, but it does not have full support for 1066mhz RAM nor 1333FSB for CPU, as well as being on the older Intel965 chipset. The P5K series however, has support for 1066mhz RAM, 1333FSB CPU plus native support for 45nano whatsit for new CPU's.

    I did look at the X38 ASUS boards, but they only differ from the P35 Chipset by having support for PCI 2.0 and DDR3 RAM. I intend to go to neither of these for a while, as £200 for RAM, and another £250+ for a GPU are not on my budget for some time to come. Plus, the X38 has been superceeded by the x48 already.

    So, P5K board it is. £95 for the wi-fi model, or £70 without it.

    RAM - 4Gb of Corsair Dominator. Although staying with 32bit, 3Gb is better than 2gb.. :smashin:

    CPU - The good old Quad6600 OEM version, as I will being using my Artic Cooler 7 Freezer.

    PSU - As I could be using most of my internals for the HTPC, I thought I would tidy up my Antec P180 case as well. My Tagen is very good, but not modular, and so really blocks up one of the lower fans. So, looking at this Coolermaster 620w modular PSU for £70.

    Total upgrade cost, around £420.

    My HTPC Project

    I have used the following sites to get my information, as well as reading numerous posts from others already making or made their own HTPC's.

    Info on HTPCs

    ProjectHTPC - HTPC Software Advice

    HTPC Project - My Build Story - Page 4 - AVForums.com

    Build Your Own Silent HTPC – Blu-ray, HD DVD and HDTV Combined : We Want HD - Resistance is Futile

    MY HTPC

    Case

    The Antec Fusion - It comes in Black or Silver, and takes a microATX board. The display on the front of the case is different depending on colour - the Silver is VFD, while the Black is LCD.

    Cost £120 Cases - Micro ATX / Media Centre Cases - Ebuyer

    Pro's: A very nice looking case, comes with a decent PSU, and is a good price. Large fans and ventilation system aid in keeping the system cool and quiet.

    Cons: VFD display can be very hit and miss, and it appears that if you try and get too much out of it, it will lock up. Other remotes (Sky?) can cause the display to freeze, requiring a reboot. Sleep modes sometimes does not work. Only takes a mATX board.

    Info: The black case has LCD, which appears to be blue text on a blue background. Most people recomend the Silver over the black version, even if you have black AV equipment.

    Other cases I thought about: Antec NSK2480 + iMon display - Simply becasue of people having trouble with their displays, I thought of this combo. It totals around the same price £100, but you are still using iMon software (which the Fusion does) and the NSK only has a 300w PSU rather than the 400+ of the Fusion.

    Silverstone LC16, the Origen AE H6 and the Silverstone LC20. All are very nice cases, as they get good reviews, plus they can take ATX boards. They just miss out of being used as they are £140+ ea, and both do not come with a PSU, meaning another £50+ on top of that, which nearly doubles the Fusions price.

    HD/Blu Ray DVD Player

    I am going for the LG HD-DVD/Blu-Ray combination unit. Yes, I know HD is dead, but I have a few HD-DVDs now from firesales etc, and when the time comes that my drive dies, the Blu-Ray versions of the films I own will be back to a reasonable price rather than £20+.

    Cost £135 - LG Electronics Blu-Ray & HD-DVD-Rom Combo 16x DVDRW Black SATA - Retail Box With Software - Ebuyer

    Processor

    I am using my E6600, and upgrading my Games machine as mentioned. A higher CPU speed is needed to play HD avi or mkv files, and some people are taking lower spec'd Intel Core2's and OC'ing them.

    Heatsink

    A low profile one thats not a stock, and has better cooling. I have chosen the Sythe Ninja, not just for its name :D but because it gets a good few mentions in builds like this.

    Mini Sythe Ninja £25 NINJA-MINI - Scythe Mini Ninja Heatpipe CPU Cooler S478/LAG775, AMD S754/939/940/AM2 - Scan.co.uk

    Mobo

    I have an ASUS P5VD2-MX mATX board already, which I think I will be using - it can take my E6600 with no problems. I am missing the I/O Plate for it though, which is a pain.

    Other considerations: The Asus P5E-VM HDMI is pricey at £105, but includes onboard video supplied by a x1300, with a proper onboard HDMi output. however, I dont think it can run Blu-Ray DVDs through this, as the graphics card onboard is not powerful enough?

    RAM

    I am using the RAM from my PC, as I am upgrading my Games PC. Its Kingston 2Gb of DDR2 533mhz (4 x 512mb) - I need to double check how many slots though. Otherwise I will pick up some Corsair or patriot for around £30 for 2 x 1Gb.

    Hard Drive

    If you look through other peoples component lists, 90% of them will have a Samsung Spinpoint listed. The other 10% will have 2..... For quietness and speed they seem to be unmatched, and I will probably end up with a pair myself.

    Samsung Spinpoint 500gb £60 Hard Drives - 3.5" SATA Drives - Ebuyer

    Graphics Cards

    The GPU is used in conjunction with PowerHDDVD to play original HD/Blu Ray DVDs, helping to relieve pressure from the CPU. You need a HDCP compliant card to play DVDs, and although I am a big NVidia fanboi, the ATi cards are the most recomended amongst HTPC users.

    Ati 3650 Passively cooled £50 - Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online - Scan.co.uk

    Other considerations: I was looking at an ATi 2600 (minimum recomended card for HD playback),and the 8600GT passive range as well. There are some nice silent ones, but I need to make sure I have the clearance space in the case.

    Quote from someone on AVForums (paraphrased) I assumed that you need a fancy graphics card for playback of HD material. But after much reading up on the subject, it turns out you don't really need a fancy graphics card, its more CPU power. Its only when you play back Blu-Ray and HD-DVD original material that your fancy graphic card comes into the equation and you benefit from hardware acceleration.

    So the advice is this, get a decent processor for your HTPC and you'll be fine to playback ALL filetypes. You'll only need a decent graphics card for playing back Blu-Ray and HD-DVD orignals. And by decent, i only mean something like a ATI 2400 XT or 2600 Pro.... no need to spend £100+ (unless you plan on gaming too)


    Keyboard

    A wireless keyboard, which also turns up a few times on other peoples kit list. This one is more like a laptop keyboard and touchpad without the screen, so handy as you do not have a seperate mouse.

    Keysonic Keyboard £25 - KeySonic 2.4Ghz Wireless HTPC Compact Keyboard with Integrated TouchPad - USB - Ebuyer

    Operating System

    Windows Vista Home Premium £60 - Having tried it on my laptop, its a nice bit of software - although not sure I would put it on my games machine yet, for a media PC, all its extra flashiness makes it look good.

    I will also be buying a copy of Vista Home Premium as well, as I believe certain codecs and software requires Vista to run correctly (without anymore hassle than it already has been to set things up.)

    Total Cost

    £120.00 - Antec Case
    £ 60.00 - 500Gb HD
    £135.00 - HD/Blu Ray Drive
    £ 25.00 - Wireless Keyboard
    £ 50.00 - Graphics Card
    £ 25.00 - Heatsink
    £ 60.00 - OS
    £ 30.00 - RAM

    -----------------
    £505.00 Total
    -----------------

    For others to build a similar spec'd machine, you would need to add around £150 to 200 for the CPU and Motherboard.

    MY HTPC Software

    Currently, I am testing the following software and configurations on the Sony FZ21M laptop I have, which has Vista Home Premium and a Blu-Ray drive.

    Media Portal

    Rather than the MCS that comes with Vista, I will be using software called Media Portal, which as I type this, is at revision 0.2.3.0. This software is really something, being simplistic and functional. I have used the basic configuration from here and have spent a great deal of time mucking about with Blu-Ray and SD-DVD rips as well. HD-DVDs not so much, as I dont have a player yet, but plenty of fire sale HD-DVDs ready to run when I do.

    Settings

    Skin: Blue Too Wide

    Settings: Exactly as per the HTPC Project website, using KMPlayer and CoreAVC.

    Plug-ins: Some removed, like the TV part as I dont have a tuner card. The HD Player plug-in is also installed.

    KVMPlayer

    Keyboard settings: My personal settings are to make these amendments: ESC closes the application, double click toggles full screen.

    PowerDVD

    Latest Version installed

    Conclusion

    MY VIDEOS - The settings allow me to browse and select either a DVD ISO rip which will lauch KVMPlayer. TV show rips can also be seen in this menu and will play in KVMplayer.

    All play at full screen. DVDs are not upscaled though (yet - although I think I have seen another program that does it.)

    Selecting a Blu-Ray ISO will mount the ISO in Deamon tools (as it does with a normal DVD) but as KVMPlayer cannot play Blu-Ray, nothing happens.

    HD PLAYER - This is where the plug-in HDStarter comes into play. Selecting this launches PowerDVD 'within' Media Portal, and then it will play the Blu-Ray ISO as normal. I believe it will also load HD-DVDs in the same way (yet to check)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  3. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    And to confuse things more, I have a plan 'B' :eek:

    I end up getting the LC20 Silverstone case, use my P5B, RAM and CPU and Tagen in the LC20, and ditch the possible problematic Fusion case.

    This means I dont need to buy extra RAM and worry about to trying to source a I/O Plate for the mATX board I have. :confused:

    Ooops, after that mamoth post, I forgot to ask if anyone had any comments, opinions, thoughts or views. :smashin:

    08/10/08 Edit: Merged a post so I can use the one above for my webstuff.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  4. LCR_Dave

    LCR_Dave Member

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    nice post mate, upto you on the case, i would prob still get the fusion, (i have one)
    good luck with the build!
  5. Docta teef

    Docta teef Member

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    Im building an antec based HTPC this week as well but have decided to go with lower spec parts for a CPU ive gone for a 2180 which so far ive not overclocked. I dont intend to stream HD rips though i will be using a server to store DVD rips to stream via Mymovies. For software im using MCE2005 as im currently vista phobic. For GPU ive gone for a passive 2400xt which should handle 1080p. Ive gone for this spec as i want it to be low power consuming and as quite as possible at this stage even with the stock cooler its very quite.

    1) What are you planning to use sound card wise?

    2) What do you intend to do re remote control?
  6. Zarch

    Zarch Active Member

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    Hey, that was me! :rotfl: And its true. :smashin:


    Seriously Theydon, some logical choices there. Keep us posted with how it goes.

    What are you doing sound wise? over HDMI into the TV? or optical to an AMP?
  7. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Hence the tagline in the main post Mickwall :smashin: I knew I had you to thanks, and where I was cut and pasting info, I missed who made that particular comment. Seriously though, you have done a massive job to help collate all the HTPC build info for everyone...

    As for the Audio - I have not gone to the Amp side of things yet - and so will be using optical out from my motherboard into the Sammy X30 HTK I currently have. I think an Amp is on the cards, but I think I have done a sterling job to get the kit I have done in the last 2 months, as my missus is technophobic and then some! :D

    I have no worries about the missus getting confused, as she will never use the HTPC, and I am (rightly or wrongly) assuming that a Harmony device later in my spend will allow me to 'one touch activity' turn TV input to HTPC, missus to mute, and turn my HTK to optical for sound.

    Edit: Oh, and I think I am going for my plan B, the Silverstone LC20M case, and I dont think anyone has used that so far? So something different to compare.
  8. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    You wont believe the amount of time I have spent looking over and over again at component parts :eek: checking HTPC specs of others :smashin:

    Todays updates...:hiya:

    Case Fans

    I dont think I will be ordering anything from Aria, so rather than just pay £7 postage on a few 8cm Xilence case fans, I will probably go for the GolfBall ones from Scan, the 9db ones.

    To keep things as low as possible, I will probably go for 3 of these, 2 for the case, and one for the Ninja mini.

    Graphics Card

    The 3650 seems to be out of stock, and with payday looming for me, I am looking at a Passive 3470 as a replacement, which is also around a tenner cheaper (helps pay for the fans :D)

    As mentioned, I am not interested in playing games on this - I have a proper PC for that. However I will probably set it up a MAME :smashin: with a wireless controller of some description? :devil:

    PC Motherboard

    Think I am taking the DDR2 P5K non wireless option. I dont need the onboard WiFi of the deluxe version - my PC is plugged into my router, and I will save £25. Which helps as my total spend has just gone beyond £900 notes! :rolleyes:

    Case

    I am deffinately going with the LC20M edition. I know I am paying £50 for the benefit of an intergrated IR reciever, but I am a sucker for the flashy graphic equaliser effect, or even media info. My PVR has lights to indicate things and I would rather it showed me the channel number, or "REC" when its recording or anything really. I just know that I will go for a case without one, and then regret it. :D
  9. jaymz

    jaymz Member

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    I have an LC20 non-M and it is a very nice case. The one thing i would mention that is a pain is that the HDD carriage behind where the VFD is that the HDDs stick out into the mobo area. This means it is tight to get the SATA connectors onto the mobo.

    This is the specific reason why i went for a Gigabyte P35C-D3R mobo as the SATA connectors are ~5cm from the edge of the mobo.
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  10. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Looking at the pictures from there website, it looks like both bays cross the back of the VFD display.

    Can the hard drives be positioned above the display, at the top of their cages to overcome this? I will be putting 2 spinpoints in, preferable one in each cage to help prevent heat build up.

    My P5B-Deluxe has SATA points slightly off the edge of the board as well, but I will try and source some L-shaped SATA connections to help cable routing.

    Thanks for the info!
  11. jaymz

    jaymz Member

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    If you view the case, as per the inisde structure photo, the HDDs site in the cage vertically but at 90deg to the cage, so they are parallel with the cross beam from back to front. They stick out about 5cm from the cage edge.

    If you look at the same photo you can see that the turret in the case for the mobo spacers is right near the cage. The HDDs go in the cage on the right hand side of the photo. The left handseit cage is for optical drives.

    Problematic SATA connectors;

    http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/FileList/Image/motherboard_productimage_ga-p35-ds3r_2.1_big.jpg

    This photo shows the repostioned SATA connectors;

    http://www.giga-byte.co.uk/FileList/Image/motherboard_productimage_ga-p35c-ds3r_2.1_big.jpg
    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  12. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    So based on the picture of my P5B-Deluxe in my above post, the hard drives will possibly overhang the (sideways) IDE connection, and the first 2 SATA ports, but I can probably get away with using L-Shaped connections at the board end...

    I intend to upload loads of pics soon, in a simalar vien to others that have helped me, so that I can help them. :smashin:

    Ahhhhhhh....we are such a caring sharing comunity.....:devil:
  13. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Oh how fickle I am.....

    How does that Bugs Life quote go? ".....I cant help it, its so pretty....."
  14. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    And so Scan have a 'Today Only special' day (weekend seeing as how its Friday) that covers 4 of my parts and could have saved me £45!

    Q6600, Corsair 620W PSU, LG HD-DVD/Blu-Ray and Asus P5k are all £5-10 cheaper this weeekend! :mad:
  15. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    The latest update for build parts:

    My PC Upgrade.

    Motherboard - A Wifi P5K board. £90

    RAM - 4Gb of Corsair Dominator. £110

    CPU - The good old Quad6600 OEM version, as I will being using my Artic Cooler 7 Freezer. £148

    PSU - Coolermaster 620w modular PSU for £70.

    Total upgrade cost £420

    MY HTPC

    Case

    The Zalman HD160+ price £170

    HD/Blu Ray DVD Player

    Cost £125 - http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=729076

    Heatsink

    Mini Sythe Ninja £27 http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=657369

    Case fans

    3 x Golf Balls

    Hard Drive

    2 x Samsung Spinpoint 500gb £60 http://www.ebuyer.com/product/130454

    Graphics Cards

    Ati 3470 Passively cooled £47 - http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=770339

    Keyboard

    Keysonic Keyboard £25 - http://www.ebuyer.com/product/104608/show_product_reviews

    Operating System

    Windows Vista Home Premium £60

    Total Cost - £560 (not including CPU, PSU, RAM, Mobo! :eek: )
  16. jaymz

    jaymz Member

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    Looks a very good spec, a few comments;

    Mobo seems expensive, do you really need the WiFi aspect of it? I went for a P35C-DS3R for £73

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=605377

    Memory is very expensive and over the top for a HTPC, not to mention you will only see ~3.3GB in a 32bit OS.

    Spinpoints are superb, i have 4 already and thinking about some more, 2TB in a HTPC :eek:

    Graphics card is good choice although i went for a ASUS 3450 for £28

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=752981
  17. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Cheers Jaymz - but the RAM and Mobo are for a PC upgrade, and I am using the P5B-Deluxe and the 2Gb of RAM I already have to put in the HTPC. Lots of people are using the 3450 and I may well change at the last moment as I am only using it for playback and maybe the odd MAME - no real game playing on this machine....:smashin:
  18. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    ....took that scary step - all ordered and on its way! :smashin:

    Ended up ordering all from Scan, free delivery helped save a few quid, as I was looking at Scan, Ebuyer, Overclockers and QuietPC as suppliers. So although I may have paid an extra £1 here and there, its better for tracking, and plus we get free delivery here so why not make the most of it? :rolleyes:

    The only thing I have to wait for is my Corsair RAM, which should have been with Scan a few days ago....oh, and I ordered 1 x 750gb Spinpoint, rather than 2 x 500gb.

    No next day delivery, so Thursday is Theydons Christmas Day! :smashin:
  19. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    PC Before

    I mentioned before that my cabling was not optimal, and I wasnt going to dump my Tagen PSU for a modular one at that point. However, as you can see, the power cables are very close to my lowest fan, and they are pulled tight to not block it.

    I am hoping the new board and modular PSU will help reduce some of the mess! It also shows the board power connection that snakes across my 8800GTS. I did try and put this cable under the card, but it just was not long enough.

    Close up of the PSU cable mess.

    Despite the poor cabling, my PC is whisper quiet. The Artic Cooler Freezer 7 has not been modified from installation, and all three P180 case fans are set to low. The GPU fan does speed up during gameplay, but through normal use its quiet. In fact the PC is on 16hrs a day, and with the TFT off, the only reason you know its on is becasue of the bright blue light that surrounds my Razor mouse.

    I have not overclocked my PC for quietness issues, but may try a slight overclock on the GPU and new CPU at some point. I score 8749 points in 3dmark06, with NVidia's 169.29 drivers.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  20. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    My Current AV Kit

    Details as listed in my sig, but here is my current set-up. As mentioned before, I have only just managed to persuade my missus to ditch an old oak TV cabinet we have had since we have been together, and so nothing fancy, just a black glass stand.

    Under the PVR is currently my daughters PS2, but its only there as a placeholder as such, and also hides cables that run behind the PVR and would be visible if it was not there.

    At night, we have a little lamp on sitting behind the TV on, obviously this is no match for ambilight, proper rope lighting etc, but it really does make a difference. :smashin:
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  21. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Its here! :thumbsup:

    One Box, two boxes, eleventy boxes!

    [​IMG]

    The Zalman case is huge, but you can see where your £180 has been spent! Full brushed Aliminium case, it really looks the part...

    [​IMG]
  22. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Firstly I removed the two rear fans. Then I took out the hard drive caddie case which was securely fixed at the bottom and side. As a side note, the case has plenty of opportunity for ventilation. There are four round vented holes in the sides of the case, two on each side, but only one (front left) has drilled holes ready for an extra fan. Note that the fan mountings for this are not all the way through the case - you would have to fix the fan from the inside.

    There are two rear fans (included) and a ventilation hole in the base of the case not far from the PSU, and another in the lid, which can be closed with a slide action.

    Then I installed the hard drive in the caddy which is supplied with rubber grommets in all four bays on both sides. I chose the second slot from the bottom, as there is a grilled hole in the side of the case (where a fan could be installed) and so its level with the air vent, rather than 'below' it.

    Drive caddy with rubber grommets

    [​IMG]

    Side vent, showing hard drive through it.

    I then removed the drive caddy, and added my LG drive. Using a tiny screwdriver, popped the drive and then gently prised off the front bezel. The CD drive is the only bay that does not have rubber grommets, and I removed the grommets from an unused bay and added them, but the cd drive would not fit in the drive afterwards, so I removed them once more.

    Motherboard, CPU and RAM came next. I removed them all from my old PC, and sat it within the new case. As you can see from the shots below, I left the Arctic Freezer 7 heat sink on as reference, as it does actually fit in the case, but with millimetres to spare with the cover on. I would not recommend this, as if you set something on top of this case (like another piece of AV kit for space reasons), the top of the case could touch the top of the heat sink!

    The latest build shot.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  23. ironjaw

    ironjaw Member

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    There's something very schoolboyishly exciting about all those eleventy boxes:)

    Good to see you're progresing past the Pre-Build stage - roll on Monday when my bits arrive and I can get stuck (in) lol

    Keep going with the photos, including the software stuff!
  24. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    I then screwed the board in, and removed the Arctic heat sink. I started unpacking the Scythe mini ninja, and blimey it's a beast! Not sure where the ‘mini' comes in, as it only stands a centimetre or two shorter than the arctic. It's a very nice heat sink, and comes with all the attachments to supply different CPU sizes as well as an 8cm fan and the attachments to add a 92mm fan if you want something bigger. One thing though, you need a large thin screwdriver, as the depth of the heat sink is very tall.

    Put it this way, I ended up having to go out and buy a new screwdriver to fit it! :eek:

    The 'not so mini' Scythe Mini Ninja

    [​IMG]

    The heat sink goes in and one of the Golf fan's goes on. I started by putting it the side as the RAM is in the way, but then the graphics card would be in the way, so I put it above the RAM, sucking air across the CPU, out the back, and straight into the out take of the rear fans. The pic shows it as it was, but now its situated above the RAM.

    Fore!

    I then fitted the Golf fans on the back. These fans came with rubber grommets and mountings, a massive bonus as I nearly bought these separately.

    I ended up having to take the PSU out again to securely fix the rubber fixings on the rear of the case.

    [​IMG]

    The cables are all fixed in, and routed as best as I can – I will fix some to the side (the case has sticky pads that can hold cables) and I have temporarily held them in place with Velcro cables ties.

    ..just a little messy..

    All in – although I did have a massive panic attack as I found the eject button was missing! :eek: (See one of my earlier pics for the empty space :rolleyes:) It was found in the bag containing the case, and so added. With all the parts in and screwed down properly, I took the plunge and plugged it in.....and the beast lives!
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  25. dpd1973

    dpd1973 Member

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    looks good - can I ask how many USB slots this case has? I assume you could always add more if you desired - ideally I'm looking for 5 USB slots...
  26. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    The case itself has two front USB slots, hidden by a flap. A floppy bay can be used to add a card reader for more, and my motherboard has 4 onboard USB slots.
  27. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    The final build.

    [​IMG]

    All done now, and put together. Although there is a huge amount of room in this case, I really recommend a modular PSU. Becasue I used components from my PC, and there was no way in hell I was going to bin an £80 Tagan PSU, and so I have alot of cables stuffed under the DVD Drive. I have no intentions of using the spare 3.5" bay either as if I did, I would have more cabling issues.

    As you can see, my hard drive caddy is tidy, and I will have no troubles adding another 750GB, leaving space between the drives for heat disapation.

    One thing I will mention, my graphics card gives off a ton of heat! You can feel the heat with your hand a few centermentres away. My Golf ball fans are spinning at 800-1000 rpm or so, and so are basically inaudible, and the only noise I have is when the DVD drive kicks in, which sounds like a washing machine in comparison. I will be looking into this, and I do have the front off of it as well, just making sure its all ok before I start chopping bits off the caddy of a £125 bit of kit to fit the front bezel.
  28. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Software

    The HTPC is now at the software stage. I have installed PowerDVD and AnyDVD, and have held off using MediaPortal at the moment, as my case has buttons linked to Vista MCE so I thought I would try and use that first. The remote I got with the Zalman has been fine, and the iMon software, although annoying to use at first - that noise everytime you press a remote button! :eek: is much better now.

    I have MyMovies linked in with MCE, and it plays my ISO rips of my DVDs with no problems as yet - but I am only testing a few DVDs as we speak....:rolleyes:

    Anyone got any tips on the LCD display software? I'd like to be able to scroll it up rather than sideways for instance...
  29. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Software Part 2

    .....and then I got the massive hump with how it intergrates itself. MCE and MyMovies looks really good, but I spent a good few hours trying to get it to work without locking up. It worked at first, select movie, watch it, exit from the app...then I notice things like how it flicks out of MyMovies to the desktop, then flicks a little as it resizes PowerDVD, then windows bloody vista announces colour thingys*, and I groan as I try and dress this up as a good thing to my missus.

    Really annoying, as I thought I had settled on something I liked.

    Then I looked at my laptop setup with MediaPortal, and installed the TVSeries plugin, saw the file info, logo system, and quickly uninstalled MYMovies...

    My fickle fickleness fickles me again! :devil:

    *This is my next thing on my list, to remove the "Windows Colour Scheme has been changed.." announcement, bong-bing, bing-bong bloody noise...:mad::mad::mad::mad::mad:
  30. Theydon Bois

    Theydon Bois Moderator

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    Could do with a Harmony...

    My HTPC is all setup now, and in place under the cabinet. I added a G+ MIMO wireless card today - I dont intend to do any streaming from my main PC, but need the internet for updates and web browsing.

    I have just flashed the LG's firmware, as I am still not happy that its very loud, and so as yet have not put the front bezel on until I am happy the noise is reduced. Its the only annoying thing about my HTPC, as otherwise very pleased indeed with its lack of noise. In contrast, my Thomson PVR HD is the only noise in the front room..
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013

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